Sometimes, people living in or visiting Las Vegas prefer to use bicycles as their primary means of transport. This type of transport is cheaper and faster for shorter distances. Unfortunately, traveling on a bike is much riskier on the rods. If you are involved in a collision while riding a bicycle, you may sustain serious injuries or even lose your life in the process.
If you are involved in a bicycle collision resulting from another person's negligence, you are entitled to compensation for injuries and losses you incur. Therefore, seeking legal guidance would be the wisest decision you can make. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have many years of experience handling complex personal injury cases. We will work hard to provide the guidance you need to navigate your claim.
Overview of Bicycle Accidents in Las Vegas
When an accident occurs, bicyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries. Like motorcyclists, the bicyclists have less protection and could be left vulnerable to severe injuries when an accident occurs. The State of Nevada has a set of laws about bicyclists and how they should conduct themselves to ensure their safety and other road users. Bicyclists must obey traffic lights, including proper navigation and traffic flow movement.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you have a right to recover compensation from the person liable for the accident. Despite the alarming number of bicycle accidents, bicyclists may be accused of partially being at fault for the accident. It is very challenging to prove liability in a bicycle accident. When insurance companies are involved, they will quickly shift the blame from the driver to you or other parties to avoid the responsibility to compensate you for your damages. Therefore, it is crucial to seek legal guidance when involved in an accident.
Bicyclists are not often involved in collisions with other bicycles. In most cases, serious bicycle accidents result from colliding with other vehicles on the road. Most bicycle accidents occur at intersections when cars or bikes are turning. Some of the most prevalent causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted drivers. Driver distraction occurs when their physical and mental concentration is not on the vehicle or road. A driver could be distracted when using the cellphone while driving or reaching out to grab something. A distracted driver may not see a bicycle at the intersection and could hit them from the repeat or head-on.
- Drunk drivers. Drunk driving is a severe offense in Nevada. A driver is considered intoxicated if their blood alcohol content is higher than the legal limit or their conduct is impaired by drugs. A drunk driver cannot make quick and reasonable decisions on the road. This can result in serious bicycle accidents.
- Speeding. When a vehicle moves at a speed that exceeds the legal limit, stopping the car in emergencies could be challenging. A speeding driver may not have enough time to stop for an approaching bicyclist.
In addition to carelessness and error from other motorists, other factors could contribute to bicycle accidents, including:
- Poorly maintained roadways
- Unclear bicycle lanes on the road
- Collision with fixed objects and obstacles on the road
- Stray animals running in front of the bicycles
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists must be careful while moving on the road. However, there are instances where collisions involving bicycles and motor vehicles may be unavoidable regardless of the efforts put by bicyclists put to keep safe. Collisions involving bicycles may happen in the following ways:
- Bicyclists being hit by moving cars while making a right turn. This is often one of Nevada's most prevalent types of bicycle accidents. Sometimes, drivers fail to check for road users on bicycle lanes before turning at an intersection. When a vehicle suddenly turns right, it could catch a bicyclist off-guard, resulting in a severe crash. Such an incident could cause severe injuries for the bicyclist, and the vehicle driver will be held liable for the accident.
- Bicyclists are rear-ended. Vehicles on the road could hit the bicycle from behind. This could occur if the driver is distracted, their vehicle malfunctions, or operating under alcohol influence.
- Bicyclists struck by vehicles that are making a left turn. Although It is uncommon for drivers to fail to notice bicyclists turning left, it happens. In such accidents, the bicycle is often moving in the opposite direction of the vehicle. When a car collides head-on with a car, the bicyclists will likely suffer serious injuries or even death.
- Vehicle doors hit bicyclists on the bike lanes. Bicyclists could be involved in accidents caused by open doors on parked cars. Often, such accidents occur when the bicyclist is traveling on the bike lanes, and a door of a parked vehicle is open. The bicyclist will crash on the door and maybe be thrown into the middle of the road.
Injuries resulting from any of the above bicycle accidents are often catastrophic. Fortunately, you are entitled to the party liable for the accident.
Injuries Common to Bicycle Accidents in Nevada
Although bicyclists have reflectors, lights, and helmets, it can still be difficult for driers to see them. Many bicycle accidents occur at night and during heavy traffic. Due to their limited protection, bicyclists are at an increased risk of suffering severe injuries after the accident. The extent of injuries can range from cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like head injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even death. If you suffer any following injuries in a bicycle accident, you can recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
Cuts and Bruises
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you will likely be thrown off the bike and into the road. This can result from bruised from hitting the road. Also, you could suffer minor cuts from the vehicles or be hit by other objects on the road. Although cuts and bruises are minor injuries, they could worsen when left untreated.
Not all injuries can be seen on the surface of your body. Trauma from being hit by a car could cause internal bleeding or damage if the internal organs. Internal injuries are not always immediately apparent. Doctors can detect internal injuries using autopsies and x-rays. Many sudden accidents result from not detecting and treating internal injuries on time. Immediately after an accident, it is crucial to seek medical care. This helps to detect these internal injuries to avoid serious complications.
If you or a loved one suffers internal injuries from a bicycle accident, you may be liable for the injuries.
Broken ribs, ankles, arms, and legs are common injuries in bicycle accidents. Your body is not bu8t to withstand great force. When the body is thrown about or hit by heavy objects, your bones could fracture or break. Although your bones are rigid, they are flexible to some point after the break. The severity of the bone fracture will depend on the amount of force applied. Since bicyclists have less protection from the impact of car accidents, their likelihood of suffering bone fractures is higher.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries result in up to 30% of all accident-related deaths in the United States. Spinal cord injury occurs when a person's head is hit, bumped, struck, or penetrated by a sharp object. When you are hit by a vehicle while cycling, you could be thrown against other vehicles or hard objects on the road and hit your head. The severity of the brain injuries depends on the type of acc9dent and safety measures you take while cycling.
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe and life-changing injuries you can suffer from a bicycle accident. The treatment procedures for this type of injury could take a while to recover and drain you financially and emotionally.
Disfiguring Facial Injuries and Scars
Facial injuries in bicycle accidents could result from broken glass from the vehicles or road rash. In addition to the pain from these injuries, facial injuries could leave behind scars that will affect your life long after the injuries have healed. If you suffer facial injuries from a bicycle accident, you will need extensive reconstructive surgeries. This could not only be very painful but can also affect your self-esteem. If you have suffered facial injuries that have left scars, you are entitled to compensation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury is the spinal cord damage resulting from trauma on your back. Spinal cord injuries are common injuries resulting from bicycle accidents. Spinal cord injuries result from traumatic blows to the spine, which dislocates the vertebrae. In addition to the severe pain associated with this type of injury, spinal cord injury can significantly impact your life.
In a bicycle accident, you can either suffer a partial or complete injury to the spinal cord, depending on the collision's severity. Complete recovery is unlikely with a complete spinal cord injury, and you may spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Some of the common symptoms associated with spinal cord injury include:
- Loss of movement
- Exaggerated reflex action and spasms
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Tingling sensation and pain from the nerve fibers of the spinal cord
If you experience any of the above symptoms after a bicycle accident, you need immediate medical attention. Additionally, you can file a claim against the person liable for the accident.
Many factors increase the likelihood of a bicycle accident becoming fatal. If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you could seek wrongful death benefits.
Liability in Bicycle Accidents
Filing a bicycle accident claim could bring you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. However, a crucial part of pursuing a successful claim is proving that another person is liable for the accident. In Nevada, liability for an accident is based on negligence which has the following elements:
- Duty of care. Duty of care is the responsibility to ensure that each road user has ensured the safety of others. Drivers of cars have to ensure they do not act in a way that causes accidents or injuries to bicyclists.
- Breach of duty. Once you establish that the fault party owed you a duty of care, you must show that they breached the duty. The breach of duty occurs when the fault driver fails to act so that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. This is the legal standard used to compare a person's negligent behavior with what an average person would in a particular situation. Drivers often breach the duty of care when they operate under drug influence or fail to give way to the bicyclists.
- Causation. After proving that a person owed you a duty of care and breached the duty, you must show that the breach of duty is a direct cause of the bicycle accident. Causation is often the most complicated element of negligence to prove. To prove causation, you will need to obtain evidence that directly linked the negligent party's actions to your injuries.
- Damages. When proving liability for your bicycle accident, you must establish the damages you suffered from the accident. When seeking compensation for your accident injuries, some of the damages you can prove in this include lost wages, medical expenses, and lost future earnings.
Compensation Benefits in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
You can seek compensation for bicycle accident injuries by filing a personal injury claim. If your claim is successful, you stand to recover compensation for:
Existing and Future Medical Expenses
Cyclists are always at risk of severe injuries when bicycles and cars collisions. When an accident occurs, your safety and wellbeing should be your priority. Therefore, it is crucial to seek immediate medical care. Fault parties are often reluctant to accept liability for the accident. Consequently, you will need to pay your medical bills.
Your injury attorney will request that the liable party's insurance company cover all your medical expenses when you pay your medical bills. Before you recover compensation for medical bills, you must present evidence to show the extent of your injuries and the level of treatment.
Lost Income and Future Earning Potential
Bicycle accident injuries may cause you to miss work for some time or even permanently. If you are in such a situation, you will be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Lost wages are the amount in monkey salary, overtime pay, or income from self-employment you lose when you fail to work due to your injuries. However, before you receive compensation for lost wages, you must prove your inability to return to work.
If there is a possibility that your injuries will last longer, you can seek compensation for future earning capacity. Often, you claim these damages if there is a possibility that you might not work again because of the severity of your injuries. When your injuries are catastrophic, you could spend a lot of time in the hospital nursing the wounds.
You must prove the amount you lost before you can recover compensation for lost wages and future earning capacity. You can prove lost wages by producing a letter from your employer. The letter from your employer will indicate the type of job you do, the number of hours you work, and the amount you earn per hour. This could help give an overview of the amount you lost from missing work while nursing your injuries.
The judge could use your wages before the accident to estimate the compensation you should receive after the injuries from the bicycle accident.
Pain and Suffering
Injuries from a bicycle accident may cause you physical and mental anguish. After a bicycle accident, you could experience fear, anxiety which causes emotional stress. Emotional distress could manifest in anxiety, insomnia, or depression. Although you cannot value the pain and suffering you experienced from a bicycle accident in form of money, you stand to recover compensation in your injury claim.
Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
The moments following a bicycle accident can be devastating, especially when you have to nurse serious injuries. However, you will eventually need to begin the legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries. Quite often, you may be unsure of your options in the situation. For this reason, you could have questions like:
Is The driver always liable for the cyclist's injuries after an accident?
Since bicyclists suffer more severe injuries in a bicycle-car collision, it is more common that the driver will be held responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries. Drivers are expected to be attentive on the road and exercise the necessary care to avoid causing injuries. However, if the driver could not have done anything to prevent the accident, the bicyclist may not recover the damages from the accident.
Does contributory negligence apply in bicycle accidents?
The issue of fault and its division in accidents will not always be clear. There are situations where the court will determine that multiple parties were responsible for the crash. If you were negligent while riding the bicycle, you would be partially liable for your accident and injuries.
In this case, the compensation you stand to recover from your claim. Some of the factors that could lead to the conclusion of contributory negligence in a bicycle accident include:
- Failure to use proper signals when navigating
- Failure to wear protective gear when riding a motorcycle increases the likelihood of sustaining severe injuries in an accident.
- Riding the bicycle against the traffic flow
- Cycling while under drug or alcohol influence
- Cycling with hands off the bicycle
- Riding in an area where bicycles are prohibited
Contributory negligence in a bicycle accident could also be allocated across other individuals depending on the nature of the collision.
Is it a crime to cycle while under drug or alcohol influence in Nevada?
Yes. While under drug influence on Nevada roads, any person who operates a bicycle could be charged with reckless endangerment. In addition, you will be considered partially liable for an accident you are involved in. This will lower the amount you can seek as compensation for injuries resulting from the accident.
What is the statute of limitations for a Nevada bicycle accident claim?
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Nevada, you have up to two years to file a personal injury claim against the liable parties. If you file your claim after the two-year statute of limitation has elapsed, the court could dismiss your lawsuit. Due to the short statute of limitation, you must seek the services of a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Even when you are not in a good physical or emotional status to deal with the claim, your attorney will take up the role of investigating the case.
What should I avoid if I am in a bicycle accident?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in Las Vegas, you must refrain from posting pictures or videos of the accident or your injuries online. Also, you should not provide the accident details to anyone else except the police officers and your attorney. When you offer too much information, investigators can use the information to discredit your claim.
Find a Reliable Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Bicycle accidents are catastrophic when they happen. Since bicyclists do not have as much protection as occupants of vehicles, they suffer more severe and life-threatening injuries. The injuries resulting from a bicycle accident may require you to undergo extensive therapies and medical treatment that could be emotionally and financially challenging. Fortunately, victims injured in a bicycle accident can recover compensation for their injuries and losses by filing a personal injury claim against persons responsible for the accident.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties you may be going through due to the bicycle accidents. Therefore, we will guide you through the case to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries or the death of your loved one. We serve clients requiring legal guidance and representation to pursue a bicycle accident claim in Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 to discuss your case details.